If you’re like most moms, there are some days when fitting exercise into your day just isn’t possible. But you can still improve your health and fitness with some micro workouts for women!
Micro workouts — brief bouts of exercise that can be done at short intervals throughout the day — are becoming increasingly popular. They won’t replace your regularly scheduled workouts, but they're an excellent way to add some exercise to your day when you can’t get a full workout in.
Just remember to keep the intensity up! You are only doing these exercises for short intervals, so in order to get any fitness benefits, you really need to challenge yourself.
And, just because these exercises are short in duration does not mean that you can get sloppy. Always perform these movements with proper form, even at high intensities, to avoid injury.
So if your day is jam-packed and you aren’t able to get to your regularly scheduled workouts, don’t worry.
Because even a few minutes of exercise here or there is better than not doing any exercise at all!
In this article, we'll show you how to do these five awesome micro workouts for women — no matter where you are:
- The Micro Workout For Stay-At-Home Moms
- The Vacation Micro Workout
- The Work Trip Micro Workout
- The Resistance Band Micro Workout
- The Take-What-You-Can-Get Micro Workout
BONUS CONTENT: You can fit these micro workouts into any busy schedule — even if you're in the office!
Short Workouts, Big Benefits
A study from the American Heart Association showed that shorter periods of exercise lasting 5-10 minutes performed throughout the day can help reduce mortality. While the AHA still recommends 150 total minutes a week of moderate to vigorous activity, this research found that it doesn’t matter how that activity is accumulated. So even with multiple, sporadic bouts of exercise, you can still achieve these health benefits.
Since micro workouts can be done in five- to 10-minute intervals, the key to getting a quality workout is to really up the intensity. This will ensure you are still burning calories and gaining cardiovascular benefits in a minimal time.
Short episodes of high-intensity exercise will burn calories while you are working out and after you finish exercising. This, in turn, will improve your cardiovascular fitness and help you burn calories and lose weight.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to produce similar calorie-burning potentials over 24 hours compared to longer bouts of lower-intensity endurance exercise, despite being much shorter in duration.
And this is precisely what micro workouts can help you achieve! So if you know it’s going to be one of those days where you’re going to miss out on your planned workout, try one of these top micro workouts for women.
5 Great Micro Workouts for Women
1. The Micro Workout For Stay-At-Home Moms
This quick 5-minute micro workout can be done right from your living room! Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. If you have a little extra time, rest for one minute and repeat the circuit. Or, do this 5-minute workout several times throughout the day whenever you have some free time.
Burpees With Push-Ups
- Squat down, stand back up, then kick forward with the right leg.
- Bring the right leg back, squat again, then kick forward with the left leg as you stand.
- Continue alternating sides.
- Start in a plank position.
- Hop both feet up to the right, trying to bring your knees to the outside of your right elbow.
- Hop back into a plank position, then bring your knees to the left.
- Continue alternating sides.
Tricep Dips With Leg Extensions
- Using a chair or step, lower into a tricep dip.
- As you push up, straighten your right leg and reach your left hand towards your right toe.
- Lower your leg and repeat, alternating sides.
Push-Ups To Side Planks
- Start in a plank position and lower down into a push-up.
- As you push back up, rotate your body to the right, moving your right arm straight into a side plank.
- Rotate back, do another push-up, and then do a side plank to the left.
- Continue alternating sides after each push-up.
- Hold a plank for as long as you can until your form fails.
- Aim for at least 15 seconds to start, then increase your time as you gain more core strength.
2. The Vacation Micro Workout
On the road and want to sneak in a quick workout? This micro workout can be done inside or outside in the sun. Try to move from one exercise to the next with minimal rest. If you have a little extra time, rest for one minute, then repeat this micro workout again.
Body Weight Squats
- Do 15 squats without any dumbbells or kettlebells.
- If you want to make it a little harder, try these Tempo Squats.
Bear Crawls With Push-Ups
- Squat down and walk your hands out into a plank.
- Do a pushup, then walk the hands back and stand up.
- Repeat for 30 seconds.
- These can be done on a chair, on the ground, or a short step.
- Perform 15-20 dips.
- Hold your hands in front of you at chest height with your palms down.
- Dip down into a quarter squat and immediately jump upward.
- Drive the knees towards the chest, attempting to touch them to the palms of your hands.
- Then land by re-extending your legs with knees slightly bent.
- Repeat as quickly as possible for 30 seconds.
Do 10 front lunges with each leg.
- Lay on your stomach on the floor or exercise mat.
- Extend your arms in front of you.
- Contract your glutes and back to raise your arms, legs, and chest off the floor.
- Once in this position, pulse your arms up and down by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Continue for 30 seconds.
3. The Work Trip Micro Workout
Stuck in a hotel without a gym during travel for work? No worries! This micro workout is an easy way to get in some quick cardio and strength training. It will have your heart pumping and your legs screaming! If you have the time, try to do this a couple of times throughout the day.
- Sprint up one flight of stairs.
- Do 10 jumping jacks at the top, then jog back down.
- Sprint up two flights of stairs.
- Perform 5 bodyweight squats at the top, then jog back down.
- Sprint up three flights of stairs.
- Do 5 burpees (with or without a push-up), then jog back down.
4. The Resistance Band Micro Workout
This is an excellent micro workout that uses resistance bands. This lets you fit in quick strength training, even on the busiest days. Do each exercise for 30 seconds, then move right into the next exercise. If you have time, repeat this micro workout two or three more times. Or do it sporadically throughout the day whenever you have free time.
Front Pull Aparts
- Grab a light band and start with your hands about shoulder-width apart.
- Raise your arms up straight out in front of you at chest level and pull the band apart.
- Bring your shoulder blades together to engage the back muscles.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a tube resistance band under your feet to grab the handles at both ends.
- Grab the handles with an underhand grip, then curl the band to your shoulders.
- Lower back down slowly.
Band Tricep Kickbacks
- Stand with your feet about hip-width apart with a tube resistance band under your feet.
- Hold a handle in each hand, palms facing in.
- Hinge forward at the waist and bend your arms to 90 degrees while keeping your core engaged.
- Extend your arms straight back behind you while keeping your elbows close to your side.
- Then slowly return to the starting position.
Squat To Shoulder Press
- Stand on top of the resistance band with feet hip-width apart.
- Hold the handles with an overhand grip with your arms at shoulder level.
- Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor while keeping your hands by your shoulders.
- Next, stand back up while pressing the handles overhead until your arms are fully extended.
- Then bring your arms back to shoulder height.
5. The Take-What-You-Can-Get Micro Workout
OK, there will be days when you don’t even have five consecutive minutes to get in any structured workout. These three moves can be done anywhere, whenever you have 30 seconds to a minute to spare. While it may not sound like much, by the end of the day, you will have accumulated quite a few reps!
- Tricep Dips
- Body Weight Squats
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on micro workouts for women.